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EFCC Arrest Buhari’s Minister, Hadi Sirika

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in connection with an ongoing investigation related to money laundering amounting to N8,069,176,864.00.

Naija News understands that the accused ex-Minister of Aviation appeared at the EFCC’s Federal Capital Territory Command around 1:00 pm on Tuesday.

According to sources, Sirika is being investigated for allegedly awarding fraudulent contracts to a company owned by his younger brother, Abubakar Sirika.

The contracts, worth over N8 billion, were awarded to Engirios Nigeria Limited for various aviation projects, including the construction of a terminal building at Katsina Airport and the procurement of aircraft and simulators for the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology.

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Sources revealed told The PUNCH that Abubakar Sirika, who is also being held by the EFCC, has been cooperating with investigators and has provided valuable information on the financial activities of the Aviation Ministry during his brother’s tenure.

It is alleged that Abubakar transferred the funds paid to his company to various individuals and companies, with no trace of work done on any of the contract items.

The EFCC is investigating the Aviation Ministry for conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, contract inflation, criminal breaches of trust, and money laundering.

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“Yes, that was Hadi Sirika who was taken into our FCT custody. He is currently meeting with EFCC investigators over the alleged N8,069,176,864.00 aviation ministry contract fraud,” a source revealed.

Another source noted, “The N8,069,176,864.00 aviation ministry contract fraud was carried out in connivance with his younger brother, Abubakar Sirika, through the latter’s company.”

This development follows a report by The PUNCH in February, which revealed that the EFCC was investigating the activities of the Aviation Ministry under Sirika’s leadership.

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The investigation has uncovered a web of corruption and deceit, with Sirika and his brother allegedly working together to siphon billions of naira from the Aviation Ministry.

The contracts awarded to Engirios Nigeria Limited were allegedly inflated, and the company failed to deliver on the projects, leaving the ministry with a huge financial burden.

An EFCC investigator told the news platform, “We’re investigating an N8,069,176,864.00 money laundering case linked to former Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika.

“Hadi awarded contracts to his brother Abubakar, knowing that the latter is a civil servant, a deputy director on Level 16 in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, where he has been working since 2000 till date.

“The first of the contracts from the former minister to Engirios Nigeria Limited was on August 18, 2022, for the construction of the Terminal Building in Katsina Airport, at a cost of N1,345,586,500.00. The second was awarded on November 3, 2022, for the establishment of the Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Center in Katsina Airport, valued at N3, 811,497,685.00.

“The third contract was on February 3, 2023, for the procurement and installation of lifts, air conditioners, and a power generator’s house in Aviation House, Abuja, at the cost of N615,195,275.000, while the fourth was awarded on May 5, 2023, for the procurement of Magnus aircraft and a simulator for the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, at the cost of N2, 296,897,404.00.

“Out of the total contract sum, the ex-minister paid out N3,212,258,930.18 to his younger brother’s Engirios Nigerian Limited, who, upon receipt of the payment, transferred it to different companies and individuals. There is no trace of work done on any of the contract items to date.

“Abubakar Sirika is currently in our custody at the Headquarters, and he is providing us with more useful information on the financial activities of the Aviation Ministry under the supervision of his older brother, Hadi Sirika.”

George Oshogwe Ogbolu is a Digital Media Strategist | Content Writer | Journalist | New Media Influencer | Proofreader and Editor at Naija News.